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Man charged with vehicular manslaughter in death of popular Long Beach dog walker

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — A 43-year-old parolee and suspected gang member was charged with vehicular manslaughter and other charges after allegedly leading police on a chase in Long Beach in a stolen van and crashing into another car, killing a woman and five dogs, officials said Wednesday.

Javier Olivarez Jr. of Los Angeles was charged with nine counts, including one count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing death and driving or taking a vehicle without consent as well as six counts of cruelty to an animal.

The incident occurred May 7, when officers spotted a van that had been reported stolen at Broadway and Alamitos in Long Beach.

The suspect fled in the van and officers chased after him.

A short time later, the van crashed into another vehicle that was carrying a woman driver and six dogs in the area of Temple and Third. The woman was pronounced dead at the hospital. Five of the dogs were killed.

Police later identified the victim as 41-year-old Jessica Bingaman of Long Beach, a single mom with a 10-year-old daughter and a popular dog walker.

Charges also include allegations Olivarez was convicted in 2002 of unlawfully planting or cultivating marijuana, receiving stolen property in 2004, second-degree robbery in 2007 and possession of belt buckle knife in 2017, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Olivarez faces a possible maximum sentence of 38 years in state prison if convicted as charged. Bail is requested at $380,000.

The case remains under investigation by Long Beach police.

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